besides running, biking, and swimming, what would you suggest for fun things to do while my family comes to town in a few weeks? We want to avoid the crowds, but still get the DC experience....
any good historical sites off the beaten path, that we should check out?
any good bars/restaurants that have great outdoor space?
any local attractions that would be fun for a group of 6-8 people?
I was thinking of taking them kayaking up north of Georgetown, going to the Zoo, and maybe driving up to Shanandoah (a bit further than we want to go for a day trip). Anything else I should check out?!
Thanks for your help.
Everyone always overlooks to Arboretum and the Aquatic Gardens, but both are pretty cool. There are also some hiking trails around Great Falls (e.g., the Billy Goat Trail).
I think the kayaking idea is your best bet. If you want to go fast, though, head out to Annapolis and rent some Jet Skis (and have some delicious food while you're there).
Stand Up Paddle Boarding from Jack's Boathouse.
Lunch in Old Town Alexandria.
View from Mt. Vernon is spectacular - do GW Mt Vernon House in the AM - lunch or dinner in Old Town - take elevator to the top of the Masonic Temple - across from King St metro in Old Town.
Great ideas! I live in Old Town and I always wanted to do the elevator up the temple. Probably would be really cool at sunset!
Stand up paddle boarding out of Georgetown would be awesome too.
What about the river boat tours out of National Harbor and Old Town....anyone have any recommendations? The night cruise up around the monuments sounds interesting.
Downtown Annapolis for lunch is a nice thing to do for lunch. It's got that old colonial feel to it without having to drive vast distances to see it. It's laid back and pretty to wander around.
If you are going to go to the Shanandoah, Luray Caverns is a good visit
For the Vietnam experience, visit Eden Center in Seven Corners in Falls Church. It's Vietnam in your face :) There are a few places that you can enjoy dinner/lunch outdoor
The Mormon Temple, the one that you see as you drive on 495 is a good visit. You won't be able to go inside the Temple unless you're mormon, but you can be in the visiter's center
Old Town's Torpedo Factory artist colony. Any of the Civil War National Park battlefields - Antietam, Manassas, Fredericksburg. National Portrait Gallery. The Potomack restaurant at the sail boat center in Alexandria has a great river view and good food. Excellent book on some of these spots is, Patriot's America from A to Z....Harper's Ferry is an excellent history and sightseeing day trip. So's Monticello. Walking old Annapolis is sweet, then dinner at Canter's seafood. Ask Ed M for an article on a "scandal tour" of Lafayette Square, then visit the spots of espionage and intrigue that have occurred there. The falls at Great Falls. The hike at White Oak canyon.
I always wanted to go paddle boating on the Tidal Basin... that looks like it would be fun for a group!
The view is great from the top of the Washington Monument. When I went 2 years ago, tix were on a first-come first-served basis everyday, but one person can go in the morning and get same day tix for your entire group.
M Street in Georgetown is great for shopping, or bar-hopping. And The Exorcist Steps are only a few blocks away.
Also, Baltimore is good for a day trip. See the National Aquarium, get some food at the Inner Harbor, see the world famous Lexington Market, and catch an Orioles game at Camden Yards.
The view from the top of the Washington Monument *is* pretty awesome, but.... hasn't it been closed since the earthquake?
Yes, and it will be closed for awhile longer: http://www.cnn.com/2012/07/09/travel/washington-monument-repairs/index.html Sorry!
On a more positive note, the SUP is a great suggestion. Jack's doesn't take reservations so be prepared to wait if it's a weekend with nice weather. (Fun consolation prize: walk from Jack's to Dean & Delucca and pick up a picnic lunch to enjoy by the waterfront as you wait.)